Brandon Rios will face once-beaten welterweight Diego Chaves on Aug. 2 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, with support from a clash between undefeated junior welterweights Jessie Vargas and Anton Novikov, according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
Arum said that HBO will televise the event along with a defense by WBO light heavyweight beltholder Sergey Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 knockouts) in Atlantic City. Kovalev's promoter, Kathy Duva, of Main Events, informed RingTV.com that Australia’s Blake Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KOs) is a strong candidate to be Kovalev's opponent.
Over the course of his past three fights, the 28-year-old Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs) stopped 140-pound Mike Alvarado in the seventh round, lost to Alvarado by unanimous decision, and fell by unanimous decision to Manny Pacquiao in his 147-pound debut last November. Rios failed the post-fight drug test after losing to Pacquiao and was suspended for five months.
The 28-year-old Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs) had knocked out five consecutive opponents before a 10th-round stoppage loss to Keith Thurman in July, but rebounded with a third-round knockout of Juan Alberto Godoy in February.
Vargas, 25, was last in action winning a disputed unanimous decision over Khabib Allakhverdiev on the undercard of Pacquiao's rematch with Tim Bradley in April. Novikov, 26, is coming off last month's unanimous decision over Javier Castro.
The 31-year-old Kovalev was last in action for a seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Cedric Agnew in March. Kovalev scored three knockdowns during his win over Agnew, which followed a second-round knockout of Ismayl Sillakh last November.
Kovalev is 12-0-1 with 12 knockouts in his past 13 fights, including a fourth-round stoppage that dethroned the previously unbeaten Nathan Cleverly in August 2013.
A 27-year-old southpaw, Caparello's past two wins have been unanimous decisions over Allan Green and Elvir Muriqi in October and January, respectively.
VYACHESLAV GLAZKOV RETURNS ON AUG. 9
Heavyweight contender Vyacheslav Glazkov (17-0-1, 11 KOs) will return to action on Aug. 9 on an NBC Sports Net Fight Night show from The Sands Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., Duva confirmed.
A 29-year-old from Ukraine, Glazkov is coming off a unanimous-decision win that ended Tomasz Adamek's five-fight winning streak since falling by 10th-round stoppage to then-WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko in 2011. His opponent has not been decided yet.
ANTHONY FLORES LOOKS TO IMPROVE HIS STATURE VS. KARL DARGAN
When lightweight Karl Dargan (15-0, 7 KOs) fights Anthony Flores (11-4-1, 6 KOs) June 21 on NBC Sports Network's Fight Night, it will be Philadelphia vs. Philadelphia.
"I don't see it as necessarily a shot to go after Karl Dargan because he's from Philadelphia, but obviously, he was well known throughout Philadelphia as well as the rest of the country, being such a well-known fighter and having such a large amateur background," said Flores.
"But really, it has more to do with the possibilities that would go with winning a fight like this and an opportinuty like this. The main focus was on that and being that I have to get through this opponent, but it was never about being a Philadelphia thing. It was more about I'd like to put myself in a better position to win a world title and become a world champion."
Dargan-Flores is in support of a light heavyweight eliminator between Anatoliy Dudchenko and Nadjib Mohammedi, the winner of which becomes the mandatory for Bernard Hopkins. The card is presented by Main Events and Peltz Boxing in association with Greg Cohen Promotions.
Dargan was last in action for a unanimous decison over Chazz McDowell in March, and Flores is coming off consecutive unanimous decisions over Ramesis Gil and previously unbeaten Mike Faragon to rebound from three straight losses.
"Right now, I feel like I can go in there and get the job done in a very good way. My goal is to satisfy my corner, the fans and the media," said Dargan. "I want to win in a fantastic way and put on a great performance. I'm not saying that no one is satisfied, but that's always my goal."